29th Jun2021

‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race All-Stars 6×02’ Review

by Rhys Payne

Wow aren’t we lucky, not only was it announced that Ru Paul’s Drag Race All-Stars season six would be airing on Netflix in the UK but also we got two episodes in one day! In the last episode, we said goodbye to Serena Cha Cha who had shown incredible progress since their original season and had now set up a wig empire that is going from strength to strength. Serena was also partly responsible for the drama that occurred before the season had aired surrounding Akeira’s cast reveal outfit wig. The whole point of all-stars is to show how far you have come in your drag career and Serena had done just that so mission accomplished!

To start this weeks episode we have the inevitable chat about how the queens would eliminate those who are at the bottom and there was a lot of discussion around getting rid of the tough competition. This led to a light confrontation between Yara (the winner of the last episode) and Trinity (who was at the bottom) as Yara had voted for Trinity to go home but as she lost the lip-sync it came down to the group consensus. However, Trinity seemed to take this in her stride after a while, as she believed Yara had voted for her due to her being a threat in the competition – which was a very interesting perspective. The other thing I found super interesting in this episode was the discussion around the true meaning of the term “trade”. Now if you are a part of any drag race Facebook page you will know that semi-regular people will post things such as “omg XYZ is the trade of the season” and then people have gone crazy in the comments arguing the definition of trade so it was nice to see this being discussed in the show as it suggests the show looks at what the fans are saying on the episode.

I was super excited when it was announced that big Freda would be a guest judge on this weeks episode. Most fans of the show will know Freda as the person who performed alongside Ru Paul in the song “Peanut Butter” but also has their own Netflix special which explored the hurdles LGBT+ artists have to face to make it in the music industry. The actual episode had the queens walking in the first-ever Blue ball (which is a clever pun) where every queen had to showcase three separate looks where the final had to be made in the werk room from unusual materials. After their performance in the talent show, I was sure that Ra’Jah would do super well (and spoiler alert she does!) On the other end of the spectrum, we have Jiggly Caliente who is probably most known for her jacket packet inspired look that was made during her original season and so I was eager to see if she could redeem herself but more on that later. All looks were inspired by blue materials which I don’t particularly understand but I do have a qualm with the fact that only two of the four judges in this episode was wearing blue outfits. I found it quite disappointing that Ru did not wear a blue costume this week as it would have helped tie the episode/challenge together. Obviously with twelve queens showcasing three looks each that makes thirty-six different looks on the runway which would be way too many for me to critique but instead I will just comment on the most memorable ones.

In the blue-collar section of the ball, my favourite was Pandora Box who wore a wonderfully camp and sparkly dinner lady outfit which revealed a sexier version of this job. Pandora offers a more classical version of drama with a high sense of camp/entertainment in her looks which I personally really enjoy. All three of Kylie Soniques love’s outfits were good and it is clear that they prefer the sexier and fashion-forward side of drag which is a perfect contrast to Pandora’s looks. My other favourite was Ginger Minj would wore a plumber inspired look that had an airbrush crack on the backside of her outfit which did make me laugh! I loved Jan’s denim look which was an incredible geometric denim outfit that had a mesmerising 3D star on the back of the dress which was incredible to watch! In the homemade outfit, she wore an incredible outfit that was an upgraded version of her balls to the wall ball look from her original season which I thought was very clever and looked great. I thought that Silky Nutmeg Gnash showcased how far she had come since her original season. They walked the runway in an outfit that has pants made out of a blue quilt which was so shapely and showed every curve in her body. I also thought that Scarlet Envy also looked incredible in a glittery blue ball gown that she had managed to make in the werk room.

However, this episode was all about Ra’jah! Now do I think that her outfit was the best … probably not but she did show a much more elevated performance on the ball. Ra’jah was declared as the winner of this weeks episode and so had to battle against a mystery opener to send home one of the bottom two wither Yara or Jiggly. The assassin was revealed to be none other than Brooklyn Hytes who delivered one of the most memorable lip-syncs in her original season against Yvie Oddly, to Sorry Not Sorry. As soon as Brooklyn walked onto the stage my first thought was Ra’jah is in trouble but I could not have been more wrong! Ra’jah managed to hold her own and more against this lip-sync legend which I was incredibly impressed by. Ru declared that it was a tie so both the winning queen and the group get to select a person to go home and so there could potentially be two queens go home which added a lot of drama to the episode! However, they both selected Jiggly to go home which is sad but her outfit was not at the same level as the rest of the queens so in my opinion, it was the right time for her to go home.

Overall this was an episode that showed Ra’Jah O’hara as a fierce competitor in this show which many people may not have considered due to her showing on their original season. We saw thirty-six looks which a few being quite memorable but the volume of outfits this early in the competition was quite difficult to watch.

**** 4/5

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